Book Review – 24 Hours in Ancient Egypt

Hello hello and welcome or welcome back. Time for another non-fiction review today, with 24 Hours in Ancient Egypt. I’ve already shared my review of the Ancient Rome book in this series, and I’ll share the reviews of the other two, Greece and China, as I come to them.

Spend 24 hours with the Ancient Egyptians.

Ancient Egypt wasn’t all pyramids, sphinxes and gold sarcophagi. For your average Egyptian, life was tough, and work was hard, conducted under the burning gaze of the sun god Ra.

During the course of a day in the ancient city of Thebes (modern-day Luxor), Egypt’s religious capital, we meet 24 Egyptians from all strata of society – from the king to the bread-maker, the priestess to the fisherman, the soldier to the midwife – and get to know what the real Egypt was like by spending an hour in their company. We encounter a different one of these characters every hour and in every chapter, and through their eyes see what an average day in ancient Egypt was really like.

I went into this book with a bit more knowledge than I did to the one set in Rome. Ancient Egypt has been my passion for over two thirds of my life, and so I was curious to see what I could take away from this book, having the knowledge I already hold.

Again, this book was divided up into the hours of the day, and introduces us to a different member of society each time. From the midwife delivering a baby, to a professional mourner wailing for a not very nice man in his death, we see all ends of the spectrum. From birth to death, poverty to riches, everything possible is – very cleverly – covered.

Although I knew more going into this, I still learned things throughout. Some were things I’ve never heard before, some were confirmation of points I thought I knew, but were still interesting. Of course there’s an element of subjective storytelling with the way the book is laid out, but the goal is to give an example of the average person, all connected with a couple of strands of story, and it worked really well.

Weaving narrative and fact, 24 Hours in Ancient Egypt is a quick read that allows a reader of any previous knowledge take on a story with its roots in history, leaving you more informed than you started, and also like you really have just witnessed a day in ancient history.

Thanks for stopping by today! I’ve really enjoyed reading a bit of non-fiction recently, and although they’re certainly that bit more awkward to review, I hope you’ve enjoyed the change as well.

Please come back soon for something different all over again.


  1. I am an absolute history geek, especially the ancient stuff, and in particular Ancient Egypt. I am all in on this book as I too have studied and be fascinated to learn about Ancient Egypt for most of my life. Thanks for this!


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